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Masters Degrees (Graduate School of Business and Leadership)

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    Repurposing entrepreneurial recovery strategies employed by small, medium, and micro enterprises during the covid19 pandemic within eThekwini municipality.
    (2021) Bassia, Papadit.; Ngwenya, Tony Charles Simphiwe.
    The purpose of this study was to examine and evaluate SMMEs’ entrepreneurial recovery, and strategies they could adopt to sustain themselves during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a major shock in the world economy. Control measures to limit the spread of the virus have substantially weakened the economic systems in many countries, including South Africa. This pandemic has resulted in ‘lockdowns’, which have paralyzed entire sectors (travel, tourism, retail, production, and distribution chains) and global economic systems, leading to an economic crisis affecting millions of people and thousands of businesses (UNDP 2020). Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) appear to be the most affected. Some analysts are predicting that around 60% of SMMEs may close before the crisis is over. The methodology chosen for this study was qualitative-oriented, and the associated research design acted as the research blueprint for data collection and strategy. The study selected different small businesses in the eThekwini municipality area in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Participating firms were small businesses that have experienced a significant impact from the current COVID-19 outbreak and measures. The sample size consisted of 15 participants selected from registered business entities. To avoid face-to-face contact and follow COVID-19 protocol and regulations, the research was mostly conducted with the business owner or management representative. The aim of this research is to identify the key findings for the situation of SMMEs, and their recovery strategies during this socioeconomic shock. The research findings highlight that majority of respondents in this study, had difficulties financing their companies, the monthly loss was experienced, and a huge drop was observed the respondents. The decline in their business activity and operation was also due to the regulatory closure of establishments, as a result of the Disaster Management Act. The research found that most SMMES have managed to put in place recovery strategies to survive and resist the economic downturn, but others also had to close their business – often permanently. The research also highlights the recommendations for further research.
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    Exploring the sustainable leadership of the top managers at Ermelo regional hospital.
    (2021) Bodibe, Oupa Phillip.; Kanyangale, MacDonald.
    Sustainability as a megatrend is influencing the leadership of different organizations in the world, including hospitals to maintain and improve the quality of their services. Despite calls in the literature for guidance on sustaining interventions regarding sustainability in hospitals, there is a dearth of research on leading and implementing sustainability in a hospital setting. The primary objective of this qualitative study was to examine the practices of Sustainable Leadership adopted by the Top Management Team at Ermelo Regional Hospital in Gert Sibande District in South Africa. Purposive sampling was utilized to identify and select 8 members of the top management team who participated in face-to-face, semi-structured, in-depth, and audio-recorded interviews to collect data. Thematic analysis was used to identify recurring patterns which depict practices that enable or impede practices of Sustainable Leadership by members of the Top Management Team. The study’s limitation is that it only included a small sample which makes it not possible to generalize the findings. The key results of this exploratory study are that Ermelo Regional Hospital’s Top Management has got various practices of Sustainable Leadership that they use. These include staff development through training, encouraging leaders at all levels to be part of the organizational effort towards sustainability, flexible working and favourable labour relations which creates a sense of shared responsibility. However, succession planning was found to be influenced by nepotism and corruption while staff management is mostly crippled by the prevalence of autocratic leadership. The need for engaging the employees often through regular meetings to provide up-dates and share hospital performance were also emphasized as critical as they result in a work setting where effective communication becomes the norm and challenges are timeously addressed. The study concludes that while Ermelo Regional Hospital’s Top Management Team is trying in terms of skill development, the leadership style is less supportive of inclusive, sustainabilityrelated practices. Furthermore, the pillars of sustainability such as the environment and community are not given enough attention by the Ermelo Regional Hospital leaders, which adds challenges to practice effective Sustainable Leadership in a hospital setting. A few recommendations are provided as well as potential research areas.
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    Enhancing functionality of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of education during the corona virus pandemic using the viable system model.
    (2022) Cele, Thanduxolo Justice Casper.; Mutambara, Emmanuel.
    Organisational functionality is critical for ensuring that the organisation remain focussed in ensuring its performance mandate especially in times of disruption such as the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters caused by floods, earthquakes, and civil unrest. In times of disruption, “organisation could enhance functionality by applying the Viable System Model. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (KZNDOE), experienced functionality related challenges during the corona virus pandemic which hindered the delivery of teaching and learning across most schools. The aim of the study was therefore to enhance the functionality of the department using the VSM. The target population comprised 80 senior managers and school principals. The study employed an exploratory research design gathering data from 14 participants who were purposively selected. Data was collected by interviewing the 14 participants. Data was analysed thematically using the NVivo 12 model. The study revealed that KZNDOE was not ready to deal with the complexity presented by the coronavirus pandemic ultimately hindering the performance of teaching and learning throughout KwaZulu-Natal schools. The pandemic was a complex emergence which the department could not handle using its simplistic functional organisational structure. Despite the challenges, the department made progressive responses that include closure of schools, establishing new structures, introducing the virtual office, speeding the procurement process of basic resources such as personal protective equipment (PPEs), and trimming the curriculum. The study however indicated that the closure of the core function of teaching was a major blow as teaching and learning needed to continue despite the pandemic to allow natural progression of learning from one grade to another. The study also revealed that the major challenges faced by the department include the shortened curriculum, implementing the social enrichment programmes, inadequate classroom space for rotational classes, inadequate funding and increase in the learning gap between quintile 4, 5 schools and quintiles 1, 2, and 3. To address the challenges, the focus of the department was on increasing funding to procure critical resources. To achieve performance, the study revealed that critical role players such as the department of health, education, senior managers, school principals, educators and learners were to play a role. The study recommended the need to review the functional structure which was last reviewed in 2011 to one that is adaptive in responding to the complex environment. The review would include the change of structure by creating new structures within the department that can deal with the pandemic. Thus, the study recommended a restructure to viable, and adaptive structure that seeks to enhance functionality and performance anchored in an effective coronavirus pandemic communication network, empowerment structures for educators, structures to provide for remote learning and prelearning materials. The study however recommended that a similar study could be conducted in other provinces to have a balanced view before making national inferences.
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    Evaluation of the intrapreneurship orientation in a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Chetty, Rangini.; Ngwenya, Tony Charles Simphiwe.
    The pharmaceutical industry in South Africa is considered a knowledge-intensive sector, with sophisticated consumers, world-class clinical skills, excellent infrastructure, and an established policy and regulatory environment. However, recent global business disruptions, including the COVID-19 pandemic, with its ensuing socio-economic sequelae, have highlighted the importance of an innovation or intrapreneurship orientation in pharmaceutical companies, where agility and responsiveness is pivotal - not just for surviving, but also thriving and creating value. It is in this context that intrapreneurship can be leveraged to spur innovation, augment business renewal, enhance organisational performance and ensure sustainability. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the nature and extent of the intrapreneurship orientation of the company’s managerial employees, to identify the strengths and weaknesses that influence intrapreneurship orientation at the company, to investigate the relationship between the company’s intrapreneurship orientation and organisational culture, and finally to explore strategies to augment the intrapreneurship orientation of the company’s managers. This sequential mixed methods explanatory study evaluated the nature and extent of intrapreneurship orientation of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company located in KwaZulu-Natal, using a sample of 55 managers, employing a self-administered online questionnaire for the quantitative research phase, and a focus group discussion of 10 managers for the qualitative research phase. The findings revealed a suboptimal intrapreneurship orientation, with weaknesses revolving around the management support, organisational structure and culture, as well as the availability and orchestration of resources. The organisation’s strengths were underpinned by the proactiveness and learning orientation of its managerial employees. Recommendations to the organisation include the development of a structure for innovation and intrapreneurship, the performance of a cultural survey as a first step in establishing a culture of innovation, collaboration and continuous learning, and the development and implementation of an innovation balanced scorecard to manage innovation-related performance.
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    Strategic leadership and change management imperatives in a volatile era: a case study of Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital.
    (2022) Zungu, Knowledge Lungisani.; Ngwenya, Tony Charles Simphiwe.
    The South African public healthcare system plays a critical role in rendering care to the majority of the population. Public healthcare is one of the democratic government’s key priorities, reflected in the constitutional commitment to providing accessible and quality healthcare efficiently and sustainably to all citizens. To realise this commitment, leadership and management of public healthcare facilities play a significant role as they can influence the success or failure of delivering quality and efficient healthcare services. Primarily because it is the responsibility of leaders to render healthcare sector demands efficiently and effectively. Strategic leadership is one of the effective tools for efficient management. Its effect on managing complexities, shocks, and various forms of turbulence and its efficiency is well documented in the literature. As a country heavily burdened by socio-economic development challenges such as the increasing poverty and unemployment rate, the number of people relying on public healthcare continually increases. With increasing healthcare demands and the burden of disease, public hospitals and clinics as institutions operate in challenging, complex and dynamic environments. Additional to an already turbulent environment prone to change and instability, public healthcare institutions in South Africa operate under the globally experienced volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment. Therefore, the assessment of leadership styles, practices, and their impact is of performance in of great importance. Given such a state, the literature points to the importance of strategic leadership being a vital requirement for healthcare management and leadership. The wide range of strategic leadership competencies enables leaders to adapt continuously to change and the fast speed of innovation. This is because strategic leaders are visionary; they have the capacity to innovatively and creatively navigate organisations through volatility to improve performance. This study aimed to investigate the role of strategic leadership and change management at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital. Through a qualitative inquiry, an interview schedule of sixteen questions was administered to fifteen participants in leadership positions within the hospital. Questions probed to unearth the strategic activities and successfully captured experiences and viewpoints on the impact of strategic leadership in managing change and the hospital's performance in this era of unpredictable constant change. The findings of this study pointed out that Mshiyeni hospital operates in a complex and demanding environment with constrained human and financial resources. The hospital tackles extensive responsibilities of regional and district hospital services in an overly populated location dominated by socio-economically challenged communities. Results further showed that keeping the hospital operational at a satisfactory level has been achieved through strategic leadership approaches designed and actioned by the leaders at the hospital level. As access and delivery of quality healthcare is a constitutional mandate in SA, the commitment to deliver efficient and effective healthcare service is cited as one of the main priority objectives of the department of health. However, the financial provisions for public healthcare facilities seem not to match the service demands in a manner that can enable public hospitals to deliver their service sufficiently. It is recommended that future research probe into this matter at an executive level within the health department. This recommendation will aid in getting an idea of how the health department idealises its public institutions to execute its services in the context of the existing constrained resources state.
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    The investigation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Foundation’s fundraising efforts.
    (2022) Kokoropo, Tebelo.; Luthuli, Nomkhosi Hlengiwe.
    The study investigates the extent to which the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the fundraising efforts of the UKZN Foundation. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has made a devastating impact on the lives of many people and the economies of many countries. The pandemic affected a lot of sectors in the economy including the higher education sector. The University of Kwazulu-Natal was under pressure to ensure they provide the required tools to carry out online learning and teaching. The UKZN Foundation, which remains the fundraising arm of the University of Kwazulu-Natal, had a responsibility to appeal to both existing and potential donors to support the university in light of the pandemic and the demands that came with it. The UKZN Foundation had to formulate strategies and plans to ensure they alleviate the pressure from the university by appealing for more funds. The outbreak of the pandemic affected the state funding for universities substantially, the education department had to reallocate funds so to prioritize challenges brought about by the outbreak of the pandemic. The outbreak caused universities to undergo a serious financial strain. Universities had to review their budgets so to ensure they remain afloat and can carry their day-to-day costs. Due to financial pressures experienced by the UKZN in light of the pandemic, thirdstream income became a priority to support university needs. Despite organizations holding back, as far as pledging is concerned due to Covid-19, the UKZN Foundation is still required to appeal, and source funds to support the university. This study’s objectives centred around establishing whether the UKZN foundation was able to achieve its income and donor targets in light of the Covid-19 pandemic; exploring the extent to which the foundation has been impacted in meeting project demands; investigating whether the foundation’s stakeholders and relationship management have been affected by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and establishing if the foundation was able to remain in alignment with the requirements of the UKZN strategy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. A qualitative research method was adopted for this study and interviews were conducted with external donors, UKZN foundation management staff, and other UKZN employees. The findings from the study indicate that despite the economic pressure brought about by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, the UKZN Foundation was able to raise a substantial amount of funds to support the university to provide effective remote teaching and learning in the light of the pandemic. This study shows that the pandemic brought a lot of challenges to the academic sector and that the University of Kwazulu-Natal endured a lot of financial pressure. Despite the economic pressures, the UKZN Foundation was able to appeal to donors to support the University of Kwazulu-Natal. The UKZN Foundation was instrumental in supporting the university with its remote learning and teaching funding requirements.
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    The impact of the acceleration of innovation strategies in service delivery performance within the Fourth Industrial Revolution era: a case of a provincial public institution.
    (2022) Mzileni, Lonwabo.; Ngwenya, Tony Charles Simphiwe.
    The world is currently in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterised by fast-advancing digital technologies. Digital technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomation, 3D printing, cloud computing, nanotechnology, and many other similar technologies, directly and indirectly affect the way of life. This direct and indirect effect is prolificated by the ability of digital technologies to influence communication, information, knowledge and daily operations in all aspects of life at home, in society and at the workplace level. The growth or advances of digital technologies is said to be at an unprecedented speed. It comes with rapid changes that have made the 21st-century global economy and environment volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. This complex nature of the modern environment presents uncertainties, and amid it, organisations must deal with the changes and continue to operate efficiently and effectively. As a result, there has been an observed paradigm shift in public service delivery and administration where governments across the world utilise information and communication technology, digital technologies and the Internet to improve operations and service delivery. For instance, innovation strategies such as e-Government exemplify the adoption and utilisation of technologies in state services. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the accelerating innovation strategies in service delivery within this Fourth Industrial Revolution era. A qualitative approach to best respond to the research questions and used purposive sampling to identify the most relevant participants. The population of this study was KwaZulu Natal Treasury employees and study size and sample was eight staff members from the IT and Systems Units within Treasury. Data was collected through open-ended semi-structured interviews. The collected data was reviewed, synthesised and interpreted through thematic analysis. A rigorous analysis of primary data led to the findings of unequal levels of innovation within Treasury. Implying that some units or departments invest in innovations more than others. Further findings showed that the adopted innovations proved to be beneficial in terms of improving service delivery. Leading to the conclusion that taking full advantage of innovation technologies and systems could be advantageous for the department. Additionally, this study found that adopting 4IR technologies, digital services, ICT infrastructure, and innovation strategies relies on budget sufficiency. Therefore, accelerating innovation systems and processes in service delivery requires the department, its leaders, and management to embrace and invest in innovation.
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    Exploring the financial knowledge culture and behaviour of millennial and generation Z’s: a case study of employees at Astel Systems (Pty) Ltd.
    (2023) Chetty, Thalia Fae.; Ngwenya, Tony.
    Millennials are currently the largest generational cohort in many countries, and Generation Z are fast approaching. The financial wellbeing of these cohorts is imperative to global financial success and wellbeing. This study was conducted with the aim of exploring the financial habits and knowledge of two generational cohorts by assessing the personal savings and investment behaviours. Further, the study aimed to analyse the spending habits and financial goals of millennials and GenZ. Lastly, the study was implored to determine what strategy could be undertaken to improve the spending and savings habits, and the financial knowledge possessed by these two generations. The most appropriate research methodology to adopt was a qualitative approach, and employed 12 respondents, split equally between the two generational cohorts. Semi structured interviews were conducted with each respondent. By using a thematic approach to the study, significant themes presented themselves, aiding to meet the research objectives. Prevalent themes that emerged included saving patterns and budgeting, investment views and practices, the influence of financial technology and digitisation on saving behaviour, spending habits, financial well- being aspirations and the influences on financial acumen. The findings have found that both cohorts exercise savings habits at either the beginning or the end of the month, however more millennials have a strict savings plan as compared to GenZ. The responses also highlighted that both generational cohorts place emphasis on home ownership in affluent areas. 83% of respondents are risk adverse and choose to hold safer rather risky investments. The study also concluded that millennials are more financially committed than GenZ and have accumulated debt at a younger age in terms of a bond or vehicle finance. Several recommendations were made, including make use of a strict monthly budget, diversifying investment portfolios with the assistance of financial advisors, and Government intervention to reduce interest rates and offer housing subsidies to younger generational cohorts that wish to purchase homes.
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    Assessing the Nazarites Church of God response to Covid-19 from a strategic management point of view.
    (2021) Mabaso, Nkosiyephana Jerome.; Chummun, Bibi Zaheenah.
    The intention of this enquiry was to assess how the Nazarite Church of God (NCG) from a strategic management point of view responded to the challenges brought about by the outbreak of Covid-19. The focus on this establishment (NCG) is due to its intended contribution to the society which is to mobilise the potential material and human resources available in order to realise the ultimate spiritual development of humankind. NCG operates within a dynamic environment where they are faced with various challenges emanating from socio-cultural, economic, political, health and technological challenges. Like business organisations, churches have been caught unprepared for such challenges and the reason could be lack of adequate strategies to deal with the same. The NCG in its strategy has infused the adoption of information technology and related infrastructures to support the church’s daily administrative processes and, equally important, to support the delivery of essential services such as the sermons, prayers and communication with its members and stakeholders including the society. The investigation used the Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology to explore the activities that are performed by the NCG with the intention to determine and explore what strategic management approach was in place before the Covid-19 outbreak and during the existence of Covid-19. Strategic management is an important tool in any form of an establishment in pursuit of the institution’s mandate and or business objectives. Churches like profit-making organisations are susceptible to failures due to lack of proper strategic planning, execution, and monitoring, which if left unattended can shut the institution’s operations down with disastrous consequences to its members and stakeholders. The study has theoretically proven the application of a strategy framework which encompasses the understanding of the strategic position of an organisation; assessing strategic choices for the future; and managing strategy in action. The substantiation in proving the strategy framework emerged from the Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology processes of data collecting through comprehensive interviews, initial coding, focused coding, memoing, and theoretical coding.
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    Examining container handling equipment to reduce port congestion at Durban Container Terminal.
    (2022) Naicker, Rowen.; Chasomeris, Mihalis Georgiou.
    Port congestion has become a major problem around the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) precinct and investors and key stakeholders have raised concerns and expressed their frustration over the poor productivity and capacity limitations. The aim of this study was to examine container handling equipment that should reduce port congestion at the DCT. The objectives are: 1) to examine the productivity of the DCT in comparison to other ports nationally and internationally; 2) to examine the performance of current container handling equipment used at the DCT and 3) to examine and compare the costs and productivity of using a Rubber Tyre Gantry (RTG) system versus Straddle Carrier (SC) system at the DCT. This desktop study collected and analysed secondary data on container handling productivity and costs of the container handling equipment used at the DCT. Cost effective analysis was applied to the available equipment data and associated costs were retrieved and studied. A compound interest formulae and inflation calculator were used to convert all costs to their 2021 approximate values. The performance results between 2015 to 2020 showed that the DCT was performing poorly. The DCT, Pier 1 and Pier 2 use RTG and SC respectively. RTGs performed exceptionally well compared to SCs. Examining the advantages and disadvantages of the RTG and SC showed that the RTG was the preferred option. Although RTGs were more expensive to purchase and operate, the SCs were costlier to maintain. Analysis of the equipment used by leading container ports shows that top ports have adopted the RTG system and that 2018 and 2019, more RTGs were purchased than Rail Mounted Gantrys (RMGs) and SCs combined by major ports globally. The results indicate the most viable option would be for the DCT to adopt a RTG system of operation due to its high efficiency levels and cost effectiveness.
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    Leading from face-to-face to virtual: leaders' experiences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal during the pandemic.
    (2022) Badru, Abdulbaqi Eyitayo.; Proches, Cecile Naomi Gerwel.
    The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown disrupted the usual functioning of businesses and organisations had to operate remotely to continue working. This brought about a unique opportunity for organisations such as traditional Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), who would not have previously considered virtual work arrangements, to explore and experience the opportunities and possibilities of virtual work arrangements. Post-COVID-19 pandemic, organisations are now re-strategising and incorporating elements of virtualness in their operations, which require new structures and leadership beyond traditional face-to-face approaches. This increasing interest in virtual work arrangements and existing virtual leadership challenges necessitates further research to explore leaders' experiences of leading virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic to identify successful approaches and their specific challenges. The study employed the qualitative research approach to explore leaders’ experiences of leading virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. A purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the study participants. Thirteen participants were interviewed, including academic leaders and directors of professional services. The interviews were recorded via Zoom and subsequently transcribed. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was undertaken using the NVIVO software. Codes and themes were generated from the analysis to answer the research questions. The study findings revealed that participants adopted and hardened their face-to-face leadership styles upon transitioning to virtual leadership. Amongst the attributes and behaviours exhibited by the leaders were trust, empathy, good communication, consultation, and self-confidence. Some of the challenges participants faced when leading virtually included a lack of participation by subordinates, slow response rates, exhaustion, balancing work and personal life, isolation, and load shedding. Generally, participants expressed both positive and negative feelings toward leading virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. All participants believed that the era of completely face-to-face work arrangements is over and that a hybrid working model should be adopted and institutionalised in the future. Based on the key findings of the study, a face-to-face-to virtual leadership transition conceptual framework was developed to illustrate the possible journey of face-to-face leaders to become virtual leaders.
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    Exploring personnel differentiation at KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform to create a competitive advantage.
    (2022) Mkhize, Gugulethu Cynthia.; Pelser, Theunis Gert.
    KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing platform (KRISP) is the health sciences Research Center of the University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN). The platform offers cutting-edge genomics services. It started operating in 2017 and since its inception, KRISP has focused on establishing a professional genomic services laboratory through acquiring state of-the-art equipment, and implementing industrial scale processes and systems. Managers at KRISP also place emphasis on recruiting highly-qualified personnel. At the time of this research, the selected market for KRISP encompassed users from public research organisations, industry R&D and other commercial users. The need for cutting edge-genomics is fast-growing in South Africa and globally, given an impact of its application in many fields of science. Because of the expertise in health sciences research, KRISP is well positioned to offer genomics for infectious diseases’ research and diagnostics. In the marketplace, KRISP faces a strong competition from large domestic and international genomic laboratories. To penetrate the market, KRISP adopted a cost leadership strategy. While the approach helped KRISP build customer base, it is not sustainable because established rival laboratories operate at scale and are able to offer much lower prices. Therefore, KRISP’s survival and growth depend on devising a better suited approach to attain sustainable competitive advantage. The main aim of this study was to explore personnel differentiation as a strategy to create competitive advantage at KRISP. The focus was on understanding whether KRISP’s personnel demonstrate unique qualities that enhance the value of the services the platform offers. The research employed an exploratory case study strategy and qualitative research method underpinned by two qualitative research tools: an in-depth interview and document collection. The findings showed that the elements differentiating KRISP services were its high technical competence, knowledge, diverse skillset and the positive attitude of personnel. Service delivery outcomes resulting from these qualities included high-quality and comprehensive services offering, reliability and customisation. The KRISP environment and work practices were enabling for personnel learning and continuous capacity development. This was key to sustain personnel commitment and creativity.
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    The impact of leadership styles on employee performance: a case of Umgeni Water.
    (2021) Ngcobo, Hlengiwe Balindile.; Mtembu, Vuyokazi Ntombikayise.
    The impact of leadership styles on employee performance was evaluated at Umgeni Water. The study was essential to gain insight into leadership and draw conclusions and recommendations to achieve optimal performance levels. The study will likely provide Umgeni Water leaders insight into leadership styles' impact on employee performance. The study also aimed to discover the most preferred leadership styles to effectively build optimal attitudes and behaviour towards achieving organisational goals, allowing leaders to introspect and improve. In addition, the study provided the basis for aspiring leaders and managers to improve their leadership skills. The study was designed as a quantitative research study employing statistical modelling at a descriptive and inferential level to assess the relationship between leadership styles and employee performance. The questionnaire was administered electronically using QuestionPro software. The results presented in this study were computed using the Stata version 17 software for data analysis. The target sample size proposed using sample size guidelines proposed by Krejcie and Morgan (1970) was 200 cases selected from a pool of 1039 employees randomly selected to participate in the online survey. The results analysis has shown that employee performance varies among employees based on their age groups, gender, and educational status. The study found that the democratic leadership style is the most preferred leadership style among employees. However, it was observed that, generally, leadership styles do not influence the constructs of employee performance, with a very low correlation observed between constructs of employee performance and leadership styles. Using regression analysis, it was observed that other constructs are generally non-significant on employee performance except for the influence of democratic leadership on job design. In contrast, most studies found the autocratic leadership style ineffective. This study discovered that the preference for autocratic leadership depends on the age cohort and educational level. In the analysis of dominant leadership styles at Umgeni Water, it was observed that while the democratic leadership style was predominant, there was an observed preference for autocratic leadership style among employees across all gender and racial categories. The study concluded that organisations could be strengthened by establishing democratic leadership styles that foster optimal employee performance.
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    Leadership challenges facing the Ladysmith Provincial Hospital.
    (2022) Mzimela, Innocent Khethukuthula.; Mutambara, Emmanuel.
    Leadership is critical in any organisation. In the healthcare fraternity, the main reason for the existence of health care facilities is to serve human life, meaning that the management of these public institutions have a bearing on the services that get delivered to the public. However, there remains some gaps, with regards to how leadership in public healthcare facilities affect the quality of care given to the public. This study thus investigated the leadership challenges facing Ladysmith Provincial hospital. The main objectives of the study included to identify the current leadership challenges facing the Ladysmith Provincial Hospital, to assess the impact of the challenges on healthcare service at Ladysmith Provincial Hospital’s performance, as well as to critically analyse the factors that affect the execution of effective leadership practices at Ladysmith Provincial Hospital. The qualitative approach was adopted, whereby ten purposively selected participants were drawn from the various departments of the organisation, including the management. The main findings of the study indicated that the participants were particularly concerned about the high turnover rate in the institution, and essentially, the fact that the vacant positions do not get filled on time- thereby leaving a void in the operational processes of the organisation. The participants bemoaned financial challenges, human resources issues, as well as ineffective leadership in their organisation, noting that their leadership lacked the qualities of a good leader, while others did not possess the required qualifications for the positions that they occupied. Overall, the challenges identified have huge implications on service delivery. In view of these findings, some recommendations were made: the need to improve the leadership’s competencies through refresher courses, workshops and some form of training- to enable them to demonstrate the personal qualities of good leadership. It was indicated that the institution needed to put in place a more strategic and effective succession planning approaches across the board- in order to avoid the unnecessary challenges being faced in the absence of qualified personal to take up certain leadership positions. The poor infrastructures call for an urgent need to replace the broken equipment- through baseline support, so that the healthcare workers can execute their duties effectively.
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    The influence social media has on employees’ performance in the transport industry.
    (2021) Kissoonlall, Avith.; Singh, Upasana Gitanjali.
    The purpose of this study is to explore the influence social media has on employees’ performance in the transport industry. Advances in social media have proven to be beneficial to both employers and employees; however, it does pose substantial risks to employee safety and employee code of conduct. The research methodology was employed using the primary form of data collection, in which the researcher performed 15 semi-structured interviews to gather relevant data about the research subject in question. Furthermore, the researcher used an exploratory research design to accurately clarify all of the collected data as well as a non-probability purposive sampling approach to select participants for this analysis according to their characteristics. The key findings of the study revealed that social media is being used by employees in the transport industry and that reckless social media usage can cause accidents and unforeseen risks for companies. It was also found that social media creates mutual value through co-branding and collaboration during marketing activities; and that WhatsApp and Facebook are the preferred social media platforms for interactivity with clients and customers. Based on the findings, the study recommends that employees should engage with their companies to understand what the expectations around social media usage in terms of acceptable and unacceptable use are. Companies in the South African transport industry must also educate their employees on the risks of reckless social media usage and the detrimental impact it could have on not only employees’ health and safety; but also the reputation, operational, regulatory, financial and security risks to the employer. The major implication of this study is the development of a framework that highlights how having a social media usage policy as an intervention measure can promote better levels of employee safety and ultimately encourage more engagement and interactivity between employees and customers by posting about activities that create mutual value.
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    The impact of flexible work hours on employee performance: a case study of AB InBev.
    (2021) Govender, Salisha.; Mashau, Pfano.
    As organizations move into the global markets to become more competitive, sustainable and profitable, the downside is the struggle in maintaining a suitable work-life balance, which can impact employee performance. Improving and sustaining employee performance has become a growing concern and challenge for organizations across the world. To overcome such concerns and challenges, organizations cannot simply focus on employee performance, but rather the factors that strengthen employee relations through a suitable working hours and a favorable work environment. These factors positively contribute to the performance, bottom-line and degree of innovation at the organization. Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) organizations, who operate around the clock, see low points of employee performance, job satisfaction, and with high points of absenteeism. Flexible work hours can lead to increased levels of employee performance, which creates a dual benefit for both the employee and the organization. This study aimed to establish how flexible work hours can improve employee performance at Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev). A census consisting of 62 management-level employees was used from the FMCG organization, AB InBev, based in Durban. The research approach was quantitative in nature and was undertaken utilizing online questionnaires that were distributed via Microsoft Forms. Statistical package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to examine the data, upon which the statistical analysis revealed several significant relationships through applicable descriptive and inferential analysis. Of the 62 management-level employees, 60.7% of the participants were male, whilst the remaining 39.3% were female. Statistical results indicated a correlation between working hours (standard and flexible) and employee performance that were statistically significant (Flx.r.766>Std.r.290). The study offered insight into factors that affected employee performance during working hours, which indicated that flexible work hours significantly improve employee performance, whilst remuneration was revealed as not being a key factor when flexible working hours were an option. These insights provided the organization with useful information to create effective solutions, provide a conducive working environment, and therefore enhance performance of employees at AB InBev. The study concludes by offering alternative methods to improve and maximize the performance of employees at the organization through the development of practical recommendations. It is recommended that organizations focus on improving the work-life balance of their employees through the offering of flexible work hours, and increasing their employee engagement and performance.
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    Impact of influencers on brand performance: a case of Haig Clubman in South Africa.
    (2020) Mabuza, Phila Junior Simphiwe.; Zondi, Wellington Bonginkosi.
    The aim of this study was to determine the impact of influencers through on the brand performance of Haig Clubman whisky. Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept in marketing and not much information was available to prove its efficacy. The increased allocation of advertising budgets to influencer marketing by brands such as Haig Clubman is what prompted the study. The study used both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. For the qualitative study, the interviewed participants were the Haig Clubman influencers based in different parts of South Africa. Semi- structured interview questions were prepared, and data collection concluded through in- depth interviews. The quantitative part of the study was conducted in one location, a tavern in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. A questionnaire was utilised and there were 117 respondents. The findings of the study showed consistency in both the qualitative and quantitative results respectively. The study revealed that influencer marketing has a positive impact on the performance of Haig Clubman. It also found that when compared to traditional advertising, influencer marketing had a better impact on consumer’s decision to buy Haig Clubman. Furthermore, the study revealed that influencer marketing is even more effective than celebrity endorsements; however, the type of influencer matters and the nano and micro-influencers are the most effective type of influencers. Nano-influencers are those with less than 5,000 followers on social media while micro-influencers are those with less than 10,000 followers.
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    Exploring Road Accident Fund’s corporate social responsibility and investment in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Mkhize, Lindiwe Agnes.; Mkhize, Nomkhosi Hlengiwe.
    It is over two decades since the election of a free democratic government in the Republic of South Africa (RSA). However, despite many strategies and policies adopted by government, SA remains economically and socially fragmented, where the first and fourth worlds coexist (Babarinde, 2009). Because RSA faces challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, CSR is well poised to contribute to social upliftment where the quality of life of ordinary citizens may be improved. This study argues that CSR is a critical catalyst for social change and social change in SA. However, there is a dearth of literature on the nature of CSR in public entities like the RAF, meaning that CSR in RSA has mostly focused only on CSR within the business sector that is why it is important to close the gap through this study. The aim of this study was to explore the Road Accident Fund’s corporate social responsibility and investment in KwaZulu-Natal. This is a qualitative study undertaken through the social constructivist paradigm. The sample size is 15 participants. The sampling method used to select participants is purposive sampling. Data was collected utilising telephone interviews in line with COVID-19 pandemic protocols. Thematic data analysis was utilised to analyse data. The findings are discussed and categorised under the following themes: Promotion of human dignity and human rights; Focus on health, education, skills development and special projects; Gate-keepers and limited CSR budget as a challenge and limited monitoring and evaluation focus. This study hopes to contribute to CSR literature and practice in South African public entities.